Buff/Not Buff

Sorry, not a Fitness post 🙂

Over on my Facebook I am doing the 10 Movies in 10 Days meme – posting a still from a movie that has left an impact on me but adding no reasons or comments in the post. Today is Day 3/10.

It is an interesting project. What constitutes an impact… This is not a list of Favourites, I don’t think, but inevitably a movie that impacts on me will stay in my memory, be re-watched and perhaps become a favourite. It’s a little hard to pick that one apart.

Choosing just ten films is very difficult indeed! The more that I consider my choices, the more films that I am reminded of and all are begging to be included. And so…

…I am going to try and keep this project going, though I think that I shall move it here from Facebook. I should like to see if I can come up with a full 365 films. I doubt it, seeing as most films are little but dross these days. So, let’s just see what the final count comes out at when I finally run out of inspiration or memory.

I am still struggling with what counts as Impact and I think that I might end up tagging -ve, +ve, learning, cinematography, score etc. We shall see.

The very mention of the word “cinematography” is quite alarming. It sounds very film buff but I do not in any way consider myself a Cinephile. For instance, for most of my life I have been Director-blind. I knew the names of some directors, obviously, but unless it’s Alfred Hitchcock or Peter Greenaway, I couldn’t tell you who directed what and the chances of me picking a film out based on its director were minimal. Mr L would say something like “It’s a Ridley Scott film” and I would look at him quite blankly and ask what that meant. “He directed Alien” – well, I have never seen Alien and never wished to! I have since learned, over my years watching films with the good (and more learned) Mr L that Ridley Scott also directed Bladerunner and another film, one that I love and have included in my 10 Movies in 10 Days list (probably be posting that one tomorrow), amongst many others that I may possibly have appreciated.

Being a little more aware of my Directors has led me to realise that I do appear to have some favourites. I shall not spoil the fun by listing theme here and now – not least because I may not yet be aware of all of them. I’ll tag each post where the Director theme comes through. Thinking about my list of ten and Googling for images has led to some interesting discoveries on the Directorial front. There have been surprises for me along the way.

I enjoy a good film and my standards (whatever they are) seem to be set quite high because most of the new films that I watch do not earn that commendation and in latter years I have found that I do not even want to try most of the new films that come out. They lack appeal, usually through being too “genre” or too much of an “Action” movie. I do not enjoy Action movies. They bore the pants right off me – unless they have another dimension to offer. Many an otherwise good film has been ruined by over-long action scenes/segments. *Yawn* Yes, Bourne Trilogy, I am looking at YOU.

Also – not many films with a digit in the title are worth the effort. Sequels are an abomination, usually – notable exceptions of course but they do not normally number themselves in sequence). In a similar vein, I often find it difficult to appreciate “the film of the book” where I have previously read and enjoyed the text. Rarely does a film live up to the pictures in one’s head. Example? The Handmaid’s Tale.

What kind of films do I enjoy? Science Fiction, of course – though latterly Sci Fi films seem to be largely ruined by the inclusion of too much “Action” and, worse still, a creeping thread of Horror. I don’t do Horror. I used to love a Hammer Horror when I was a teenager but the modern stuff is too far beyond the pale for a weak-stomached girl like me. I really do not see the appeal of all those blood and guts films. Romance? Well, not big on light movies generally but something a tad off-beat will always appeal. I will admit to having loved many an old B&W “three hankie” movie in the past. Some of those may have stayed with me. So, Romance, perhaps, RomCom, unlikely. As always, notable exceptions. Happy Clappy Musicals then? Possibly, if we are talking Fred and Ginger, but none too keen on the Musical genre really though there are a few stand outs that will make it into my list. I’m flexible.

I may not be very up on my Directors but I do have a few favourite actors and will pick up DVDs if my interest is caught by the cast. Sometimes that trick works, sometimes it doesn’t. Even a good cast list can be ruined by poor direction – another reason why I really do need to do my homework in that area.

Overall I think my taste runs to “offbeat” “quirky” “thought provoking” “all about the music” and “beautiful” : these too may be tags. Fundamentally I like anything good. I just can’t verbalise what it is that makes a film good in my opinion. Maybe my List will clarify.

My relationship with the cinema began at an early age. As a small child I was fortunate in that we had frequent cinema outings – my father delivered wholesale ice cream and many of his customers were cinemas. Free tickets were always on offer. When I was a little bit older, there was Saturday Morning Cinema and the Children’s Film Foundation. Later on, my first (and, I think, only) real date was a cinema date (fish and chips after too – a sit-down with bread and butter & a pot of tea – that guy had style).

Cinema visits dropped off after marriage and children but there were always those magnificent old B&W movies on Saturday afternoon telly to accompany the week’s ironing (remember that, ironing? It was a thing, back in the day) . I miss those old films; many remain in my Favourites list and will make it into this list of Movies with Impact.) Then came the advent of VHS, bringing films back into my life and we rented many films.

Current film-viewing is patchy indeed. Netflix and Prime are offering little that we want to watch but after raiding E.Leclerc’s offer of Five DVDs for €30 last week, we did see Bladerunner 2049 this week. (Ooooh – a Sequel, with FOUR digits!) We enjoyed it. It was true to the original. Although a lengthy film at 2hrs 44, the time flew by and we did not fidget. That to me is a dead giveaway of the quality of a film – I call them bum-numbing (- actually I call them bum-numbers but wasn’t sure that comes across in writing – no digits implied, just numb buttocks). We are keeping that disc and may well watch again. I cannot say the same for the first two of the five. No.Impact.at.all – right now I cannot even recall what the films were – and it was only last weekend that we watched them.

This list will include films that I first viewed perhaps 60 or more years ago that I remember still, clear as day. Back in the days when the Movies were something special. It will also hold, I believe, far newer films – perhaps stuffed full of CGI – that I know I am going to recall in whatever years that I have left to come to me. I don’t think I am a Film Snob. I don’t think that I have an honest belief that today’s films are nothing but pap. I do fear that too many of them are just that and that an effort has to be made to sift through them all in order to find the gems.

Your Comments and Recommendations are more than welcome. Feel free to disabuse me of some of my notions. Celebrate the gems with me. Show me some new-to-me Directors. Let us discuss.

This is an ambitious project but I hope that at the very least it will make me keep this blog alive.

(The following three posts will bring us up to date on the Facebook activity. Here I will not restrict myself to “No Comments or explanations” because, what’s the fun in that.)

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2 Comments

  1. Turts
    April 29, 2019
    Reply

    Splendid, Beth. I must confess that I’m embarrassed that I am not treating the project with the gravitas it deserves. I look forward to your comments on your chosen films. Yes, I too find the sealed lips aspect of the meme quite stifling, however it does excuse me from having to make the effort to sell it. I’m a simple guy with simple tastes, as you will discover when I plug Bourne Ultimatum on day ten! The cinema is, and has been for a long time, a major turn off for me. Perhaps it was merely my misfortune or taste in the wrong films but invariably the folk I shared the experience with were arses. The home cinema experience is much more to my taste. (Screen Machine was a glorious exception to my rule.)

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